Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Tuesday 14th August 2012
We started up Watford locks this morning. The flight of 7 narrow locks contains  a staircase of 4. There is always a lock keeper on duty to assist and guide you through. It isn't just a case of opening the paddles here. Because it's a staircase, with side ponds, there is an extra paddle, marked in red, which should be opened first, followed by the "normal" paddle gear.
With the help of the lock keeper we soon reached the top, where there are services, so as usual we threw a can, and some rubbish. We don't need water yet, so that saved time.
After the locks, the canal is enclosed by trees for a short time, but they soon thin out to reveal a beautiful agricultural landscape. We haven't been this way for about 7 years and had forgotten just how wonderful the scenery is around here, and with the motorway now gone it's own way, it is very tranquil.
We basked in sunshine from a sky which held some lovely cauliflower clouds, but they didn't mask the sun very often. I watched a few gliders soaring under the clouds, this type of cloud is just what a glider pilot is looking for. Over one of the fields we saw a kestrel hovering, flaunting its easy superiority over man made planes.
We're now moored up just short of Welford Junction, and we may take the short arm which leads to the town tomorrow if the weather isn't too bad. They're promising us rain again.

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